Netflix Provides ‘Furies,’ Other Vietnamese Films with Newfound Life
HANOI — Vietnam-produced movies that were given the cold shoulder from domestic audiences are now winning fans at home thanks to rave reviews the films received in international markets.
Soon after Netflix began streaming “Furies” on March 23, the violent action movie made the platform’s Top 10 list of most-watched foreign films worldwide for two weeks in a row. This sparked renewed interest in Vietnam, keeping the female-led gritty thriller locally known as “Thanh Soi” in the Top 10 in country for a month.
“I didn’t even know Vietnam had this kind of movie,” said a local viewer.
Box office sales were weak when the movie hit theaters in 2022. But the prequel to the 2019 hit “Furie” roared back with the Netflix release.
“Furies” is not the only movie enjoying popularity with domestic audiences.
“Flip 6: The Ticket of Fate” was the top box office hit, a Hanoi theater employee said. Ticket sales for the latest installation of the popular series reached 100 billion dong ($4.26 million) in just four days since its Friday premiere, according to one estimate — even exceeding “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” the animated global smash-hit from Universal Pictures, Illumination and Nintendo.
Vietnamese movies typically tend to illustrate human drama, a genre that is often overlooked by younger viewers. Attention instead tends to be focused on big-budget Hollywood movies featuring A-list actors or South Korean films, particularly now with the wide availability of international streaming platforms.
These days, however, action movies like “Furies” and last year’s “578 Magnum” created a buzz first in overseas markets before capturing domestic viewers. This in turn has sparked renewed interest in domestic cinema as a whole.
The government is also pushing locally produced films. New decrees announced last year instruct theaters to give priority showings to Vietnamese films between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., while also requiring them to dedicate 15% of yearly showing time to domestic works, starting in November.
Theaters also must give warnings about films with violent or sexual content beginning May 20.
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